Today on the blog, we’re sharing an elegant real wedding, with a beautiful love story behind it.

Laine & Matthew married with a Catholic ceremony and chic hotel reception in her hometown of Covington, Louisiana.

Their Southern wedding celebration was filled with glamorous style, sweet traditions, and luxurious decor, and the wonderful Art De Vie were on hand to capture it all.

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The pair, who knew eachother slightly through work, met at mass in Chicago and after a whirlwind romance, and a few months of long distance, they knew they were meant to be.

Within 18 months, they were walking down the aisle to be married in the same church Laine’s grandparents had said their ‘I Dos’ 60 years earlier. (And just wait until you see Matt’s face as Laine met him at the altar!).

This sweet couple, who both looked timeless and chic on their big day (I love Laine’s strapless, mermaid wedding dress!), chose a classic colour palette of white, blush and gold, which made for sophisticated decor at their reception in the Southern Hotel.

But with hundreds of cookies, a ribbon wand send-off and a relaxed buffet dinner, this wedding may have been elegant, but it was packed full of charm as well.

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The Inspiration

The inspiration behind our wedding was something, classic, timeless and elegant. Our colors were blush, gold and oyster.

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The Flowers

We chose peonies and roses. I wanted nice tight bouquets with a mix of all white flowers for my bouquet and for my bridesmaids we went with shades of blush.

For the reception we used a mix of blush, and different whites adding some other natural elements (like the curly willow seen in the centerpieces). 

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The Attire

I (Laine) fell in love with my dress the moment I put it on…. It felt right and I felt like myself in it. 

I really wanted to find a dress that felt different and made me feel like my (best) self.

For my bridesmaids I wanted to find a flattering silhouette and wanted the dresses to have more color saturation than just a blush colored dress. The ones we found really hit all of those points and all the girls looks absolutely beautiful!

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The Photography

Photography was very important to us. The images from the wedding are forever and these are the things that your memories will be drawn to years later. 

After lots of research we decided that this was an area we would want to splurge on.  It was important to us to have photographers that captured our story, our personality, and took beautiful images. 

Doug and CheyAnne were such a delight to work with.  They made everything so easy and comfortable for us, our wedding party, and our guests.

They were like photo taking ninjas and were always there, never obtrusive, and just a joy to work with. We could not be more pleased with their work!

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The Venues

St. Peter Catholic Church is my (Laine’s) hometown church.  I made most of my sacraments at St. Peter and attended school there as well from kindergarten to 8th grade. 

Even though Matt and I were living in Chicago at the time of our wedding we wanted to get married in a place that held a special place in our hearts.  Another fun fact, the brides’ grandparents were married at St. Peter 60 years ago.

As for the reception, The Southern Hotel is a historic spot in our small town of Covington, LA and really had that Southern charm and feel we were looking for and that we wanted to share with our local and out of town guests (the groom’s family is from Pittsburgh, PA). 

With the recent renovation to the venue everything was fresh and very elegant décor-wise.

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The Ceremony

Trish Foti Gento was our vocalist at the ceremony. She was absolutely gorgeous! 

We chose fairly traditional music.  It’s the kind that always gives me goosebumps and makes my eyes well up.

Brother Kenneth Boesch played organ, Zorca Dimova, violin and Gary Benoit on trumpet. 

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The Refreshments

We wanted an elegant wedding but with an air of casualty.  Having a buffet opposed to a formal sit down meal gave our guests the opportunity to mingle, and eat at their leisure (something us Southerners really like).

We also had a cookie table (a tradition in the groom’s family).  The grandmother of the groom, along with the mother of the groom, and aunts of the groom made hundreds of homemade cookies (ten different varieties) to serve at the reception. 

The wedding cake turned out perfect! It was exactly what I had in mind. 

Zoe’s did an amazing job creating a stunning and delicious cake (the cake had multiple layers which meant we could have multiple fillings, one on each layer- there were almond, lemon, and strawberry fillings. 

I don’t think I could choose my favorite if I had to- thankfully I didn’t have to! 

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Advice for Other Couples

Try to be true to yourself, remember why you are doing this, and try not to stress about the small stuff- you will, but TRY not to!

I am obsessed with BHLDN website. I would have gotten everything from there if I could have. 

The Black Tux also worked out really nicely for us. The guys looked sharp and very current.

I would not have changed a thing. Matt and I had the best time at our wedding.  We joked afterwards that we had such an enjoyable time that we wished we could do it everyday. 

I hope that all of your couples feel that way!

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The Decor

For décor we used floral arrangements, candles, votives. 

The beautiful wedding wands (that were used in lieu of rice) were purchased from a vendor on Etsy.

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Special Details

As a surprise wedding gift from my (Laine’s) parents, my mother had arranged an artist to paint a portrait of our first dance – live at the reception!

It was such a wonderful gift, one that everyone at the reception could enjoy and one that we will cherish forever.  

The portrait image was then made into cards that we used as thank you cards to thank all of our wedding guests for their company and gifts.

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The Send Off

Our first dance was La Vie en Rose, performed by the band, Four Unplugged

Being that we had a wedding outside of NOLA we had to second line out of the reception.  We weren’t super keen on the traditional umbrellas that are typically used so we all waived our wedding wands instead.

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The Honeymoon

We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon.  It was absolutely amazing and we would recommend all of the islands that we went to as well as all of the accommodations to any readers. 

We chose Hawaii because neither one of us had ever been and we wanted to experience something new together on our honeymoon.  We left the day after the wedding and spent two and a half weeks island-hopping. 

We started in Kauai (stayed at the St. Regis in Princeville).  This ended up being our favorite spot of all of the islands. It felt very remote and it was very quiet – the quiet was very nice to have after all of the wedding preparation.  Hiking, waterfalls, snorkeling, sunrises… this island has it all and we did it all (very nature oriented). 

Next we flew to Maui and stayed at the Fairmont in Wailea.  The beach here was out of control amazing and we had a wonderful time snorkeling and kayaking.  This island and resort had much more activity and people as compared to the previous island, which made it a nice change of pace. 

Our last stop was the Big Island where we really splurged – we stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kona.  This was the most romantic spot of them all.  And the service at the resort was unparalleled! 

Under the stars every night we enjoyed nightly performances by local musicians from the comfort of our balcony, while sipping Champagne and indulging in house-made truffles. 

Never before had we seen so many stars as well as shooting stars.  There were also sea turtles that would come and sun on the beach daily. And there was an amazing fresh water “pond” on the property that was designed for snorkeling within a contained area. 

Throughout the entire trip we had the most amazing food.  The sushi and sashimi was definitely the star of every meal that I ate – such delicious fresh fish!

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That send-off looks so fun, I do love all the sweet touches of a Southern wedding. And Matt’s family cookie-baking tradition is so wonderful – I may have to start that one myself!

Thanks so much to Doug & CheyAnne of Arte De Vie, and of course, Laine & Matthew for sharing their beautiful wedding with us.

Be inspired by more elegant real weddings

Photographer: Arte De Vie / Ceremony Venue: St. Peter Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Southern Hotel / Flowers: Grandiflora Farms / Catering: Oxlot 9 at Southern Hotel / Cake Baker: Zoe's Bakery / Bride’s Dress: Anna Maier / Bridal Salon: Pearl’s Place / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Debra Moreland, BHLDN / Bride’s Shoes: Oscar de la Renta / Bride’s Jewelry: Ben Amun, BHLDN / Groom’s Attire: Theory Tuxedo / Groom’s Attire: Thomas Pink Tuxedo Shirt / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm / Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux / Invitations & Stationery: The Write Collection / Calligraphy: HH Peterson Calligraphy / Ceremony Musicians: Trish Foti Genco / Hair & Make-up: Gabriella McGeehee, H2O Salon / Band: Four Unplugged / Rentals: Mandeville Party Company / Transport: Limo Livery